tv Trump Administration Nuclear Weapons Strategies CSPAN June 9, 2017 3:04pm-4:04pm EDT
concurs. and everyone understands the full risk because this notion that we can apply more and more pressure and talk about left of launch solutions for missiles, destroying them on the launch pad is, our allies are not completely on board. that could result in some real surprises or disasters results so i just want to hear them made a offer a very coherent status that everyone agrees on. >> i guess we will see in a few weeks what happens. after you joined me in thanking our speakers, if you could stay seated for a few quick announcements from darrell about lunch and moving forward. you for being here. [applause] >> christopher ford is a special assistant to the president in charge of the national security council's efforts to counter weapons of
mass destruction. he spoke to the arms control association about the trump administration strategy for north korea, relations with russia and the iran nuclear agreement. >> welcome back everyone. welcome back then please find your seats so we can resume here at the arms control association net annual meeting with our first keynote speaker of the day. thank you. once again, i'm darrell kimball, director of the arms control association . my friends are here for our 2017 arms control association annual meeting. please to have with us today christopher ford whose special assistant to the president and senior director for weapons of mass instruction and counter proliferation policy at the national security council. chris who has extensive experience on these issues has been on the professional staff of the senate relations
committee, banking committee, easter on the personal staff of a senator susan collins as her national security advisor and before that he served at the state department as a special representative on nonproliferation and was a deputy assistant repertory for state for arms control nonproliferation disarmament verification and clients during the george w. bush administration. and as chris knows and as most of you here recognize, probably the most serious responsibility for any us president is reducing the global risks posed by nuclear weapons and nuclear proliferation. why is that? why has the presidency not as a risk? as john f. kennedy said in 1951, every man, woman and child lives are hanging by the slender risk of threads
that could cut any moment by accident or miscalculation or by madness. ronald reagan in 1985 noted that a nuclear war can never be one and must never be fought. last year in hiroshima, president obama said those nations that hold nuclear stockpiles must have the courage to escape the logic of fear and pursue a world without them. for decades american presidents have with varying degrees of success, republicans and democrats all pursue their commitment in the npt to end the arms race. and pursue disarmament. a negotiated agreements that limit and cut nuclear arsenals or to curb the spread of nuclear weapons. they did nuclear weapons in the atmosphere and underground but for the rest of miscalculation with nuclear weapons so we seen much progress in many areas. as larry weiler, one of the
original negotiators of the npt remind us this morning, there are many challenges ahead. and in some ways as we heard this morning, the risk of nuclear weapons use appears to be growing and the tensions between nuclear states situation and as some key nuclear arms restraint measures. so even before president trump took the oath of office and came into the white house , there were already tough challenges to make. in the area of nuclear weapons policy such as how to use pressure and diplomacy versus north korea's nuclear program. how to resolve the dispute with russia over compliance with the intermediate nuclear forces treaty and to reengage russia in the nuclear risk reduction process, how to make sure all sides abide by the 2015 agreement between
iran and the six world powers that has been holding iran's capabilities in check. how do we forge international agreements about how to strengthen the nuclear nonproliferation treaty, 50 years old and perhaps reaching a middle age crisis next year. and how do we manage the rising costs of the united states own arsenal while reviewing the united states own requirements and policies about the role of nuclear weapons in our long-term strategy so these are tough questions. unless you have an important job, not to put any pressure on you. these are the types of issues anybody in government has to deal with. so far we haven't heard a lot about the administration's approach to these issues. and speaking frankly in my view, what we have heard from the president on these issues is sometimes created more confusion than answering the
questions that we might have so because of all that, because it's important to, we are pleased to have christopher with us today to help update us on the administration's approach and these very important issues, it's the most consequential set of issues and in discussing this event and his remarks today, i told chris we know he's not going to be able to answer all our questions and part because some of these issues are still the subject of policy review but we hope you will be able to do his best to help explain the administration's approach on these issues so with that, i welcome chris to the podium. and after chris is delivers his remarks, we will take questions from the floor and there are cards on your chairs and if you have a question, please jot them down. we know there will be questions to the side and my team will collect those and
throw out some of the more interesting ones andpass them forward, that's the process of the q&a. chris, thank you for being here . [applause] >> thank you very much. is this mine perhaps? thank you. thank you very much everybody. it's a pleasure to be here. is this also necessary? okay. it's great to have a chance to talk to you, i'm grateful to the arms control administration for inviting me . as indicated, darrell asked me to say a few words about the new administration's policy of nuclear weapons. asthma at challenging assignment in that on these kinds of topics are still in the way as i outlined in my remarks this morning. i have a contest in march.
it's a popular review and the ballistic missile defense review led by the department of sense are for example still in progress and we have also not yet completed our review of various arms control and arms related institutions, regimes and approaches. these are still ongoing. but yet of course it remains true that what our approaches to nuclear weaponry is agreeing on but we resolve to try to be forthcoming as i can and also mindful of the fact that we are apparently on the record and on camera. not that we don't hold that to be in the business of doing these days. so to try to level set some baseline understanding of the approach that we are beginning to try to bring to these issues and frankly to try to reign in some of what i think is the more donald i assumptions that are sometimes made in media coverage about what the president has said on these weapons topics, i'd like to try to walk through some of that bit. here's some of our tricks tell it, the administration
is been shackled to an incoherent series of rants across the spectrum of nuclear issues, pronouncements and suggestions that actually taken as guidance as nuclear policy would result in essentially all the immediate catastrophe. i hope i can persuade you that the reality does not reserve that. to the contrary, there are concepts and insights that inform the president's comments, that will ground sound and effective us approach to nuclear strategy, an approach that you will see emerging time as our various policies find their course. so let's start with proliferation. the president's remarks duringlast year's election campaign on nonproliferation in the east asia , have been widely the subject of much penryn as you see all over the place. they are often quoted essentially for shock value, apparently on the theory that they send signals some kind of cavalier attitude toward nuclear weapons and the challenge of proliferation.
if that's your concern, i urge you to read assessor comments more carefully. the president has spoken about the proliferation dangers better doing on what he has made clear he feels to be a us course in recent years of relative military decline, a trajectory along which he has said our military has become depleted and are nuclear arsenal become outdated. in terms of our position the president has said and i'll be intermixing quotes from time to time. i'm not going to go through do the weird scare quotes thing but in terms of relative military capability the president has said we are not the same country as we used be. this decline has had a detrimental effect on our relationships and on peace and security in various regions. incidentally, it is the impact, to this impact he has linked his likelihood about potential nuclear proliferation in south korea. were we to allow this to
continue, the new york times, there could come a point is which we would be unable to respond if these allies called for our help in the wake of some terrible provocation. it is that, hypothetical point the future us weakness that the president suggested that might conceivably make sense for those countries confronted by an x essential threats to require nuclear weapons to defend themselves. after all, he said our allies, as we ourselves let our strength dk, i don't think they feel very secure. >> indeed he said if the united states eats on, it's great of weakness, they are going to want to have us strengthened geostrategic resolution wesley. >> he made a similar point anderson cooper around the same time. characteristically, the president made his way in ways that are perhaps more plugs and more visuals here than traditional discourse but at their core i would
argue these comments restupon a good deal of common sense . moreover they rest upon some of the same arguments we've heard from nonproliferation rates for years. how many times have you heard us officials or think tax dollars went down to get the credibility and capability inherent in us deterrent. >> relationships are essential to ensuring allies of the validity and thus also to reducing proliferation incentives in regions of the world in which us allies in front the specter of aggression by a rogue state or a large neighbor with territorial ambitions. i've seen and heard that point made by many people over the years including dollars published by such diverse institutions as life down the road. the brookings institution next door, the national institute of public policy and the national bureau of research and also i myself have made as a protector. i don't think the president was wrong to fly one in which
it mentioned it might be reasonable for such a would-be victim state to contemplate weaponization which is also a point i've made myself although not to anderson cooper. however, president trump made it very clear the conditions of us decline and weakening deterrent credibility that might make such alliteration seem reasonable to the would be victims. his unacceptable outcome for this administration. the whole point in other words isthat we need to prevent proliferation from occurring for countries , the president has said clearly and with great clarity to the new york times and in the first residential debate in september that proliferation is a huge threat to us national security as well as international security, he has said that in a range of concepts, i have a bunch of quotes here, nuclear proliferation is thebiggest problem world has . it is one of the very big issues. the biggest issue of our time.
it is the single greatest threat, the greatest threat this country has. he spoke clearly suggested he could hardly have been more clear that he is intent. >> now there are of course many tools with which one can and i would argue that we must fight a nuclear proliferation. a range of instruments i can assure you the administration is committed to pursuing including supporting international nonproliferation regimes, securing or eliminating nuclear material worldwide, preventing the spread of dual use and other technologies and capabilities, ensuring effective safeguards of peaceful nuclear activity and interdicting shipments and otherwise doing what we can to slow the development of the press. the president made clear that he believes our chances of meeting the grave challenges of proliferation made clear that he believes our chances of meeting these challenges and arresting some of the dynamics of proliferation are better when the united states is strong and resolute then when we are not. so optimistic anti-administration hype aside, i would argue this at
its core is a job maximally simple and consequential and it's a central one to understand in the administration's approach to national security policy in general and nuclear weapons issues in particular. the president underlying point about the importance of us strength and resolution to the preservation of peace and security is one that resonates through decades of us foreign and national security policy. defining traditional and even reaganite reasonings once again with nuclear weapons remain as novel today as in 2017 only become a come on the heels of policy as articulated by a view in which the united states explicitly prioritize reducing the role of us nuclear weapons in its security strategy over maintaining strategic deterrence and stability over strengthening regional deterrence and reassuring us allies and over saving face in a secure and effective arsenal. you will find that his support of the peace through strength idea is a motif that runs through all the president's comments about
nuclear weapons and as for how we are approaching our current policy. >> is a recurring theme i would say, one represents and shows the deep commitment to reducing nuclear danger. it is also one entered an appreciation for the role that american strength and resolve have found in nuclear posture and policy can play in helping ensure national security and strategic stability. our post of these issues is built on the understanding that us nuclear and conventional strength lies accommodation of assertiveness and strength to show in his possession preserving the security and peace. and his equivocal importance in preventing the nuclear contact these could suffer the ministration i have tried so hard to put the president is willing to counter. the president tends to express himself differently and more directly in such matters and most policymakers but i would argue that you can see this but i'm discussing quite clearly in his remarks which
unmistakably suggest that foreign perception of us weakness and decline in the national security has helped to produce a world in which aggression and conflict are more likely to remain stronger and more firm. >> he told anderson cooper last year that the obama administration that we don't want to get bigger. but he noted at that point in 2015 that nobody is afraid of our president, nobody respects our president. my context, the peace through strength approach to determinants could help forestall some of nuclear challenges that considered true american decline. the gq magazine he made clear that he intended to ensure our military is strong and respected and it was this strength and respect he felt would help us prevent nuclear weapons used by deterrence and aggression and would prevent proliferation. that's the territory policy and for us territory policy the president has said in a
perfect world, anybody would agree using nuclear weapons would be so destructive that nobody would ever use them. using them as confrontation would clearly be in his view a very bad thing. and as he put it to the new york times, i would very much not want to be the first one to use them. nevertheless, he has understand the importance to deterrence that meaning obtaining a degree of strategic ambiguity of not telling a potential adversary when we what or why not use such tools. >> ultimately told today in april 2016 i don't want to rule out anything. and he hoped to be the last to use nuclear weapons, that would be a second strike and it would be highly, highly unlikely that i would ever be using them. but he emphasized that he would never rule it out. i can't take anything entirely off the table, he said during the first residential debate., there's essentially nothing here i would argue that is not confident with decades of well-established strategic
thinking on nuclear deterrence, notwithstanding the fact that his media process predecessors floated different approaches toward technology and finally, the issue of disarmament. a goal toward which the obama administration declared itself to prioritize above strategic deterrence itself, about repeated stability and reassuring our allies . on this topic, the president has been rather cautious. as i noted he said again, in a perfect world, this of course the new york times, in the perfect world nobody would ever use nuclear weapons. i should add so strong are his feelings about the unacceptability of wmd used against civilians he went to the trouble of a authoritarian airfield in order to help deter further atrocities in the wake of the attack of a certain agent in april of this year. back to nuclear matters, he set of nuclear weaponry in the first debate i would like
everybody to end it, just get rid of it. thepresident has made it quite clear that we do not live in that perfect world . in the real world, today and for some considerable period of time is a much more messy and challenging world than that. the president suggested to gq, you have so many people with nuclear weapons that disarmament is not available. we wouldn't get rid of the weapons. with regard to the long-term future, the president before his inauguration tweeted about, it's not my first speech with a tree, he tweeted about his hope that someday the world might come to its senses regarding this. until the world comes to resemble the world he described the new york times, the president has made clear he believes it is essential that we maintain a strong and robust posture and that we reverse what he sees as a client of capabilities that underpin these terms, >> the present he said in the first debate the united states is not keeping up with other countries and modernizing our nuclear forces.
russia for instance as much newer capability than we do and we have not been updating to the new standpoint as we should have been doing. until the world at some point comes to accept this in a fundamentally different way, the united states must repent and expand its nuclear capability. >> eventually i would argue this is just another application of the reaganite philosophy of peace through strength, it represents a vision about how the world works in which the maintenance and why application of us strength is not inevitable to security but rather essential to it. this philosophy has implications that when expressed sometimes make members of the traditional arms control community nervous such as warning that theunited states would not be outcompeted. if a hostile actor were determined to attempt this evil morning joe last december , we will out match them at every path and outlast them all. at its core, this approach is one dedicated to keeping such an arms race having to
happen. and it is precisely our willingness to engage in such competition if we are forced that he hopes will persuade potential adversary for them, that path is a losing game. i would submit it's not antithetical to arms-control but rather in some deep sense essential to arms-control or it provides a highly unattractive plan b against which our competitors can evaluate their own situations and which can give them a powerful incentive for constructive cooperation and engagement with us. >> what i tried to do is summarize what the president has said in public about nuclear weapons issues and point out how once he puts aside the sometimes terrible coverage that his remarks are want to begin in the media, his comments can indeed be seen to hang together in a coherent and forceful way. i think one can trace a straight line from his tropism to the work we are now doing within the new administration to develop policies and approaches couple of meeting us national security needs and days global environment and in the
future. >> the president's executive order on january 27 for instance warns about being the policy of the united states to pursue peace through strength and directs the secretary of defense to improve readiness. >> it also directed the preparation of a new national defense strategy with the intention of getting a leadership predictability to determine the structure necessary to meet requirements. in ministration of the posture review to which i referred earlier to ensure the state is moderate, robust, flexible, ready and taylor to the turfgrass. and reassure our allies. this work is currently underway. in addition to a range of reviews i ensure that we assess the taylor our approach is current and future us needs. because these efforts have included i'm not in a position to say much more unafraid but these are not too far in the decent future and i hope you see in the remarks can be seen him comprehensive insights about national security policy that we are today working hard.
i look forward to talking about these issues with you further beginning in the question and answer session and in much more detail as we conclude these reviews and it's possible to engage on the subject of detail in the months and years ahead. thank you for the patience of letting me talk to you and the courtesy of having me here. it's been a pleasure to speak and i look forward to hearing what you have. >> thank you very much chris. [applause] and congratulations on thefirst twitter reference , may it not be your last. >> probably not. >> let me encourage both the pastors with their questions going forward so that we can take those up. thank you very much chris for giving some shape to the comments that we've heard about over the past few weeks and as we are collecting these i wanted to start out with one question which came up in the earlier session
about the united states relationship with russia in the future of the nuclear arms control agreement and the obama administration going forward and the arms reflection treaty. i think we agree that this is one ofthe key issues of the demonstration will be dealing with in the course of nuclear posture review . the administration theoretically has the option to negotiate a new agreement with russia that follows on a new start. or to extend the treaty after february 5, 2021. or let the thing go which would be the first since the 1970s since they were there was a binding treaty forcing us to work with the missiles so president trump has reportedly criticized from the start and reportedly had the extension of the
agreement and the first phone call with president putin of russia so my question is straightforward, does the ministration plan on implementing these starts and are we a nuclear position from you and the white house that shows policy. [inaudible] at the g7 meeting, at the g 20 meeting are there going to be options for pursuing further nuclear arms control or extending further? >> great question. when i, let me say with respect to news, we are first and foremost working hard now to make sure we are on track to meet the central effect in february of next year. we intend to meet them, we
are on track to do so. looks like it's going fine. we understand the russians on track to meet their obligations as well but in terms of coming is scheduled we are making sure that actually occurs. before i got into this line of work a few years ago i used to think this was all fairly straightforward. you're supposed to come down to having access, all you need to do is get rid of a bunch of those things. those of you who have done arms-control in the real world know is more collocated and when i say making sure that we meet those central limits, there is a lot thatis encoded in that. we are working hard, there's lots of detailed interactions and there are always wrinkles so on the way we are working those through to the appropriate mechanisms , both sides are making a lot of moving pieces come togetherin order to get this to occur on schedule and participate without having to report so far everything is fine. my intention . >> where on track to meet those , the question of course is what do we do thereafter? that is a question on which i can happily captain because i made an excellent decision not to address the question
of extension until we gotten through the process. >> it did not seem intelligible to try to have a conversation about what to do and extending those limits or doing something else so we had decided what we need to be doing with regard to our program of record and deployment doctrines and all those sorts of things so the issues we address in the npr are predicates for making a decision on extension but i certainly to say that is not to rule anything out is just to say that is a question reserved for a point to the completion of the npr so i don't have an answer on that but i think there's no a priori answer on what it's going to be. i'm waiting for the prosecutors to work their course before we decide what this could bring to postures. that said, let me make two additional important points that are relevant for the future of arms-control with russia. one on the shadow, it's a
darker worry and then i hope we're off to that point. the darker problem on the horizon for example is of course the issue of compliance. arms-control is a means to which we remain committed and then we are attracted to good arms-control. we don't like arms-control it doesn't make sense, doesn't provide stability and can't violate its terms. our efforts to ensure that it meets the criteria that we set forth publicly in the private example on the compliance report. we're officially behind in the report on inherence and compliance witharms-control nonverbal proliferation , did i get right? so we're trying to articulate alittle bit more about , i said if you are worried about these things there's the association a couple days ago. but it's precisely because we like the idea of good arms-control that we think it
necessary to point these things out. in the context we have a problem with what to do about the inf. this was as you all know a pivotal control agreement, the first agreement of any sort to eliminate an entire class of delivery systems, it's important under the reagan administration and the implementation went very well. there's a problem with that now as you have been tracking the last few years. the russians are in violation of that agreement and that's not going away anytime soon it appears so we're struggling to how to deal with the inf problem. that raises questions about the future of the arms-control race. >> it shows fatal questions but one that definitely we could get stronger with and we are trying to figure out what our response will be to those challenges. and more importantly to face our european allies and frankly their relocating ability, allies in east asia as well. these are things that need to be dealt with in one way or
another, responded to in one way or another and resolved in one way or another, it doesn't say too much about the long-term future of arms-control, agreements are only good if you trust people to stick with them so we're struggling with that little bit but on the positive side in terms of the future of high-level engagement, i believe you have probably seen the aftermath of the killers and meeting in moscow upon some kind of strategic stability dialogue between the united states and asia. exactly what form that will take, when it will occur and who will be involved is something for them to figure out that i can actually report that it's not the environment in which we are not engaging. there's a principal nuclear matter, we are working very hard to reengage matters that relate to strategic's and i say that not just through the narrow prism of which gets a raid against the other person but the broader question also about areas pieces of our
postures fit together and either are conducive to or detrimental to broader questions of global security so we will be working those issues with the russians and productively as we can and will be the firstdialogue of this sort in some time . we have efforts to gymnast through the administration but they found the russians invasion not to their liking so we will see what we can do that and we hope it will be seen and remembered and i hope you and encourage you to understand this is a positive step we are trying to do even as we respond to the challenges and resolve the issues by russia's violation. so these are issues in progress but that's where we are at the moment. >> i would have more to say and i hope to it some point. >> you can say more about finance because one of our questions on reuters is about that and the question is when might we expect the us response to russian
violations of inf and i would also just add is the possibility of another special verification committee meeting a part of the option? >> to answer that quickly, >> the option it makes is very broad, we are trying to figure out a possibility. we have details that we are currently working to figure out how we're going to be approaching this but i also think you would be wrong to conclude that this administration is likely to be content with another round of finger wagging. it's not productive on this, so one can't talk about those details. we will not just be cutting, we will be taking responses that actually put meaningful pressure on them to return to compliance and perhaps responses that if that fails will help the nsa in a safer place in the world that follows that.
>>. >> another set of questions on north korea. >> not before consulting also with our allies which is a high priority. >> were not going to disappear from the room and come forth with the answer to which we will expect everyone to make conference, this is an important issue that confronts the united states and also confronts our allies and we are making sure that we are in closeconsultation with them . >>. >> another set of questions about the north korean missile challenge. >>policy review is complete , we heard this morning about. >> i'm trying with my microphone, i'm sorry. i got one on my time, i got this one. all right. thank you for pointing out that i speak too loudly. we have fellow questions about the north korea policy
review and the next steps. so specifically, can you elaborate what additions would be needed for entering into discussions with north korea for the purpose of being its nuclear missile programs, the pressure and engagement. there have been several different iterations about how those conventions might be and it seems important to have some answers to this i have the moon jae-in visit later this month. can you give us clarification? >> probably not as much as you would like but i would say the current approach, this is our first policy review out-of-the-box.it tends to give us not much back, having academic questions on what the right answer is or we had to come up with answers and approaches very quickly and a lot of times it was my own view and model of the kind of policy review we had to do. in which options across the
entire imaginable space are exactly what they are but you can picture those two, you can be sure those two ends were in fact explicitly discussed as were a zillion different options. what we ended up with until further notice is the policy as you suggested a substantially increasing economic and diplomatic pressure on north korea. while making clear that the objection to this is to re-engender various thoughts about how to reduce missile threats that we face. our policy is not regime change but one of trying to get a real discussion back on again about what is our objective of demilitarization. we feel like we are off to a good start with president moon jae-in and his administration. they areóthe importance of the us relationship and they've also underscored the policy goal of deeply arcane
denuclearization. the president shares our commitment with increased pressure through sanctions, the intention of eventually getting to talk. we think that's the right way to go and it's very important to move in that direction. we will work from various angles to bring it about. areas angles we are working to come off the revenue streams of the north to his military programs and make it feel the kind of pressure that perhaps will get them to reevaluate the strategic forces that they need to make that are bad and destabilizing ones. and it's important also that we're trying to work hard with china in ways that we have not yet tried but many attempts have been made over the years to try to encourage the chinese to come to the conclusion that it is in their interest to work with us. i first suspect that beijing's assumption for a long time that in the name of stability, they prize up more than once imagined in the alternative and it gives us an objective to work effectively on this for years and thereafter but the point we're trying to make with
beijing is while they may think that the status quote in the peninsula is better than the alternative, the status quote is not a stable stack points.the status quo introductory and that trajectory is downhill rather fast. the threats worsening in intention. the status quo is not stability, the status quo is a recipe for grave problems. if we can convince beijing their interest in stability means they should be working with us to resolve this five regime change but one of regime change of course when it comes to these programs, we will have made significant progress and i hope that can be the case. >> what conditions would be involved in reopening those kinds of talks? >> i'm going to have to play potter stewart for the moment. contact and details are crucially important, but of course we think we will know that expression sincerity and that's the term if and when
they take them. is not a good idea for me to get into a discussion about that at this time but we think this is sober and sensible policy that takes things further in constructive ways and does in fact still present the metal of working fast and appropriate action. >> given what you just said, one of the other questions we had on north korea policy, how does this administration policies question on engagement differ from the strategic patient label that was given to the previous administration. if i can quickly clarify, what the differences is. >> i think we're lesspatient . the development of the threat doesn't give us the option of being patient over any significant period of time. -read the paper as well as anyone, there's daily speculation that the nuclear threat is developing almost
biweekly increments. my wife claims every time we have a nice family weekend every time i get started and calls on my phone because the north koreans are testing. >> the development of the threat set is not one that permits patients anymore. that may or may not have been true at some point, i'll leave that for historians and others. >> we don't have that luxury. we are trying to do as much as we can to feel the imperative of a change of course as soon as possible. >> we've got a few questions about us nuclear weapons development, possibilities, there have been some voices since election day who advocated for a resumption of the testing and possible new roles for us nuclear weapons, and possible new types of nuclear weapons development. and i say they haven't tested a nuclear device in 25 years, entering the testing treaty. and just in the confirmation
hearing, secretary of state tillerson said the nuclear test moratorium has been in place and served the united states and he recognized the value of that in the g7 statements itself. the question is, does the , does president trump cv absence of nuclear testing as a plus for us security and how will he help to reinforce the taboo against nuclear tests in the future? >> the easy answer would be to say those questions are ones that are currently under review and indeed that would be a true answer. what it is we needfor our posture and our long-term , midterm, short-term planning is a series of questions that are obviously complicated. all kinds of groups are working through the agency right now to figure all those things out as part of the posture review. there's also a ballistic missile defense review that is running in parallel to
this so there are lots of pieces on this and i print probably shouldn't have my keys and go backward on it but nuclear testing is a derivative question from that. it's, at what point or under what circumstances might be necessary to do that or not, i have not seen myself anything that would suggest any of the concerns with the integrity or reliability of our stockpile that would drive any near-term decision to do that. i would be very happy if i saw those or would be extraordinarily concerned. having seen that, i don't think there's any likelihood of us changing the moratorium as a policy choice anytime soon. beyond that, there are questions about whether we think it is a safe and prudent policy to forswear the testing forever, we don't know the answer to that. >> don't forget you can always full out of the tree. >> that's just as night comment.>> although i have
great confidence he would excoriate me for doing so. >> of course. >> we have a few questions about the united states own nuclear weapons spending challenges. as we discussed earlier today, the us is on track to spend in excess of $1 trillion according to the congressional budget office over the next decade to replace and refurbish existing delivery systems of warheads. >> and the last administration conducted a nuclear review and as part of that they determined that the existing force size is larger than necessary for the purposes to work with russia on reduction. numerous pentagon officials announced about the affordability problem posed by the current approach so as the nuclear posture review looks at options to, with the us arsenal, will you assess
options to alter the pacing and scope of the current plan, especially if there are significant costs giving that could be achieved while meeting what are determined to be the deterrent requirements under this review? >> i shouldn't get out in front and speculate about what the nuclear posture review will decide but you can be confident these questions are the types of things that are being chewed on. >> this comes at a challenging point.to my knowledge there's never been an npr for that occurred at such a challenging conflict of circumstances. we're doing a nuclear policy review at a time when we are butting up against in terms of programmatic planning, putting up against the potential block obsolescence of all three of our triad as well as the decrepitude of certain portions of our nuclear infrastructure which are working fine for now cannot continue to work fine in the future not a fair amount of attention. these things coming together at the same time really do
present spending challenges. you see the pentagon literature talking about the impact of the wave of the modernization program will have on other aspects of military stents spending and is far from a trivial thing. >> on the other hand, it is critical that we bear in mind and always remember and this is important and what i try to make an disarmament whenever i can't remember what a small proportion that of spending the nuclear arsenal is. even if you added infrastructure stuff which i think need to be working on as well, it's only a few percentage points of defense spending in the defense budget itself is only these days a small fraction. it's half of the discretionary spending or whatever it would be itself only a small fraction of federal spending so we should keep this in perspective given the dangers and challenges that we all face. when this easy? number is it doable? exactly.
>> all right, we have a couple questions about how the administration will approach efforts to strengthen the nuclear nonproliferation treaty, including whether there are any steps in the 2010 action plan, those 64 action plans on retirement where the trump administration. or plans to make progress before the 20/20 review conference. >> and another related question is since you have been a key part of previous review conferences, 2005 conference, we all understand what can look like a failed conference or a difficult conference so what kinds of things would you like to try to avoid happening in 2020 that might be considered detrimental for the nonproliferation system? >> okay.
i think you will indeed find us strongly committed to strengthening the nonproliferation regime as a whole. we are doing a review of how to do that and some of the approaches that i think we need to be taking in that space so it's hard to say exactly what we will end up to choosing to do but as i indicated i hope it's the nonproliferation challenge is very acute and aim to do that as effectively as we can. i think that's the sort of an intellectual prison that you should apply to how we approach issuessuch as how to handle the rhetoric on coming up . i have said many times over the years, i think i've said when i was doing our npt diplomacy , that i tend to think of this more in terms of looking for, more for outcome metrics then for output metrics. the usual conventional wisdom says if there's a failure to
reach consensus on the final document into catastrophe. that's not necessarily the case. we prefer to have an agreed document in anycontext , we have an anniversary for the channel npt as well so it's not triple trivial but as i said many times before that no document is ever a bad one. we are working as hard as we can to get a good one and that's the objective and we think that kind of a statement can indeed ripen the cooperation and goodwill and constructive approach that is very important to strengthen the nonproliferation regime which is the outcome based answer that we are seeking. but how to do that practice obviously the details matter and it remains to be seen. some of the issues that have circled the airfield for a while are not going away anytime soon. many of these states are ones i suspect that i could write the talking points of most of the participants of these debates and i could've written those same talking points 10 years ago when i was doing this last time but
we hope to be able to move forward constructively and provide real outcome based improvement. irrespective of whether it looks like we are checking one particular institution or not. >> we have a couple questions about the future of the six hour deal with and ran and the joint comprehensive plan of action. so in light of yesterday's announcement about the president's decision to withdraw from the paris climate records, it has raised the question, will you pursue a similar approach with the jt coa. you mentioned the administration that the policy review which i understand is a broader review as the jc poa. is that review considering withdrawal and renegotiation of any elements of the jc poa and if so, how is that comparable given the mechanics of this agreement?
that's the question. >> will it comply with the jc poa for the future. >> not to be cute but mechanically of course it would be very straightforward. the question is it wise, is it appropriate and under what circumstances would you do it, those are all questions which we are chewing on right now. we are in the middle of an ongoing ran review, a broader review of just the jcpoa. one of the complaint about the previous administration was the degree to which it had gotten a nuclear deal, it was a tempting conclusion to make other aspects of policy a hostage to that deal. we can't push so hard on these other things with the other things ran does the cost of its region. it's the development are going to friends and allies of the front for international terrorism, destabilization, things of that sort. we felt there was an unwelcome reluctance on those
fronts for fear that all my goodness, if you make them too mad they will walk away from the deal. we're determined not to make everything on the nuclear question but also to have the nuclear question is possibly and wisely and one of the things we're doing right now is figuring out how the pieces fit together. i am involved in the nuclear piece, a review of jcpoa options and this is a full range of options, we think it's important to have the full range as i indicated with north korea in front of us walk through all of them and mark them down as appropriate to things that make more rather than less sense. it's only a piece of the puzzle. our jcpoa works these into a larger question of iran and policy strategy and regional policy strategy. i would say the right answer on the jcpoa is not possible. you can give me all the options in the world i can't tell you what the right answer is unless i know what you want to do in the broader context. what we're endeavoring to do is that the reviews stick together in a way that will
provide a coherent answer and we're not done yet. police soon, we're working hard to make sure this gets resolved as soon as possible. i don't have a timeline but it is being worked hard i can assure you. >> another question, would you agree the agreement is working as designed with respect to the nuclear program. just this morning the iaea reported, confirm that karen is conferring with its commitment. >> as you saw secretary tillerson certify under the review act of 2015, we have certified, at least we did as of the date in march. >> not long ago. >> that from, he appears to be meeting his commitments. the bigger question is not just whether their meeting their commitments although any sign of feuding would be highly problematic to say the least. but to make sure that we have a good feel for how to make sure that meeting those commitments or mean whatever commitments iran has is an answer to the long-term challenges we face and the
threat presented by the possibility of iran positioning itself in the future as a latent or mutual virtual nuclear weapons states. concerned with making sure we bring those threats to these challenges and that's the purpose. >> we have a couplequestions about missile-defense policy . as you know chris, missile-defense has been a key factor in discussions about nuclear arms control production with russia to the extent with china formany years . last year, then vice chairman of the joint chiefs dane winfield said in a speech that we will not rely on missile-defense orthopedic trend of russia because it would be too hard and to strategically destabilizing to even try. so as the united states looks forward to dealing with the north korean illicit missile
threat and evaluates missile-defense options, how do you foresee the administration seeking to assure russia and china the us missile defenses are not designed to counter. they are nuclear deterrent capability and there are proposals on the hill as you know for an extension of the us missile-defense capabilities and there was a decision last year in congress to redesignate the program, missile-defense program from limited to robust, i think the word was the easy answer is there's a ballistic missile defense review under way and it would be professionally unwise of me to anticipate in front of where that's going. this is part of what we viewed to be the only responsible course. every new administration comes in and does the policy review of various sorts. we like to think we're doing a deeper and more comprehensive review than is usually the case.
i don't have any direct context of those things but my impression is it is unusual for an administration to put the range of options on the table that we are internally so you are sure that we are thinking crosses entire space but that's not the same thing as having a preordainedconclusion. it's been , it was policy for some time and indeed it's an obvious fact of reality and the laws of physics that in the loss of basic mathematics and accounting that nothing that we had done in missile-defense bar has posed any meaningful threat to the future arsenals of either russia or china. and you know, they don't act like that's the case. >> i can count, they can count, we know what's going on here. this is not about them. we think we need to do in the face of worsening threats from places like north korea and iranian missile development as well. i have argued publicly and i think i said this at the
carnegie event in march that if the russians and chinese are worried about this issue of ratios, about x amount of wmd versus my arsenal, there are ratio issues here. i can see how that may be an interesting question but you know, we will do what we need to do in order to protect ourselves from threats that depreciate the existence of a north korea and iran. and from their perspective i would urge anybody who's listening in moscow and beijing to reach the i think fairly obvious conclusion that if they are concerned about the issue of ratios between dmd and their forces, that we need to be working together to have a discussion about how to rain in the press from north korea and iran. the worst threat to their strategic arsenals if they see it as a threat at all which is the problem presented by those and if we can work together to bring those problems under control, we will be having qualitatively different discussions. >> we have time for maybe one
more question and this relates to the anticipated meeting between president trump and putin coming in july. and the question is that back in the 1980s, i think it was 1985, president reagan and gorbachev jointly declared a nuclear war was was never to be one and must never be fought. will the two presidents consider any joint language that tries to address the joint concern and commitment to avoiding nuclear conflict between the two largest countries with the two largest arsenals? >> i'm not going to put words in his mouth at this point.
>> i'm not going to put words in your mouth, do you think that might be considered as the trip is prepared. >> the president been clear that what we are interested in doing is looking for areas of shared concern on which is possible to make progress together. there are issues that are challenging in a relationship, there are many problems and issues that we need to deal with that are in many cases caused by or certainly aggravated by russia behavior and conflicts in various respects, we need to figure out how to deal with those in a constructive way,how to get through and around that in a way that doesn't compromise and if we can find areas of shared concern and progress , in areas that are consistent with doing these things things, we will do that but and that's across the board of policy issues and certainly including in the new room if it were possible and we felt that there was a way forward. one of the things we're hoping to do as i mentioned before is reinitiate or impact a process of strategic stability dialogue that will help we hope bring better understanding of where the two sides are coming from, across a wide range of issues and will help i hope identify
ways in which is possible to do that constructive progress together so to be continued and i hope to be able to report good progress. >> thank you very much for your time . for your willingness to come here and try to answer our questions and to deliver more information about the administration's work on these issues. one thing we certainly can't agree on is that we need and want effective and good arms control. and nonproliferation disarmament, that's what the arms control liberation has always been about and the question is what is that and how do we get there and how do we work together, democrats, republicans, us and the world to get there so we look forward to talking with you and your team more about how to deal with these challenges and everyone, please join me in thanking chris ward for being here. [applause]